Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, Official First Printing


The Scarce Official Printing of Lincoln’s First Inaugural Speech

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Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Speech, bound in half-green Morocco.

The official appearance of the stirring speech in which Lincoln assured secessionists, “you can have no conflict, without being yourselves the aggressors,” and appealed to “the better angels of our nature.” 

Lincoln began drafting his first inaugural in Springfield soon after his election, hoping the speech would impart a spirit of reconciliation with the seceded states. His speech balances his pledge to protect Federal property in the South, while insisting that he would not use military force unless attached first. He eloquently argus against secession, saying the United States cannot be dissolved. Lincoln ends his speech with the memorable lines: “We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching form every battle-field and patriot grave to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” 

Scarce, with no examples in the auction records for the last quarter century. About fine.

Lincoln, Abraham. “Inaugural Address of the President of the United States,  on the Fourth of March, 1861.” Special Session, U.S. Senate: Executive Document No. 1. 8vo.; 10p.; bound in modern half-green Morocco and marbled paper boards. (M102)

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